Upright posture increases oxyhemoglobin saturation in Peruvian highlanders

Rafael S. Arias, Branden Etienne, Vsevolod Polotsky, William Checkley, Alan R. Schwartz, Luu Pham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

At high altitude, hypoxia amplifies oxyhemoglobin saturation (S P O 2 ) swings with changes in respiratory mechanics. Our objective was to examine the effects of posture on S P O 2 and determine predictors of postural S P O 2 changes in highlanders. 50 native highlanders from Puno, Peru (3825 m) assumed supine and upright-seated postures, in rotating sequence, while undergoing continuous pulse-oximetry. We compared mean S p O 2 in each posture with a paired t-test. We examined associations of BMI, age, sex and spirometry with postural S p O 2 changes with mixed-effects linear regression. In highlanders, S p O 2 was 84% in the supine posture and was 1.0% ± 1.1 (p < 0.0001) greater in the upright-seated posture. Greater postural changes in S p O 2 were associated with older age (p = 0.01 for interaction) but not with sex, BMI, FVC or FEV 1 . In highlanders, S p O 2 is higher in the upright-seated compared to supine posture, especially with older age. Because we generally sleep flat, posture may contribute significantly to highlanders’ hypoxemic burden during sleep. Postural intervention during sleep may mitigate nocturnal hypoxemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Volume266
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

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Oxyhemoglobins
Posture
Sleep
Altitude Sickness
Respiratory Mechanics
Peru
Oximetry
Spirometry
Linear Models

Keywords

  • Altitude
  • Andean
  • Global health
  • Hypoxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Cite this

Upright posture increases oxyhemoglobin saturation in Peruvian highlanders. / Arias, Rafael S.; Etienne, Branden; Polotsky, Vsevolod; Checkley, William; Schwartz, Alan R.; Pham, Luu.

In: Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, Vol. 266, 01.08.2019, p. 138-143.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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